Kitchen Remodeling: Step-by-Step

Is cooking a nightmare with more than one person in your kitchen? Are your appliances uncooperative? Is the general look of your kitchen a little sad? Here are five easy steps to help you get the kitchen of your dreams:

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Step One: Plan, Plan and Plan Some More

What don’t you like about your kitchen? Odds are there are quite a few things. Your goal here is to figure out exactly what would make your space work best for your home. Which, if you’re like 49 percent of homeowners, is comfort and livability.

While the planning phase of your kitchen can be the longest (don’t be surprised if you spend months planning your kitchen), it’s also one of the most enjoyable. While at times it can be difficult to find the right design-related inspiration, finding your direction has never been easier with the wealth of online kitchen remodeling resources that are now available. One suggested design tool is DesignMine. Whether you use DesignMine to find inspiring photos or save images from online resources, showing pictures to your contractor is the best way to articulate your vision.

Step Two: Budget

Defining your budget is important enough to warrant its own step. In fact, some homeowners prefer finalizing their budget before they get too deep into planning their kitchen remodel. However you choose to go about budgeting, check out Home Advisor’s True Cost Guide to get a better idea of how much others in your area are paying for their kitchen remodels. When budgeting, it’s important to remember that you’ll have to factor in the cost of obtaining permits. Each municipality handles the permitting process differently, so be sure to do your research.

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Step Three: Find Your Pro

It’s no surprise that the right pro is critical to your remodel’s success. While most homeowners get estimates from at least three pros before making a hire, 53 percent of surveyed homeowners still worry about their pro not charging a fair price. Knowing how much others are paying for similar projects goes a long way toward easing those fears.

When it comes to finding and hiring your pro, get estimates from at least three contractors. Using HomeAdvisor’s ProFinder will ensure you find a reputable pro you can trust. During the bidding process, be sure to ask about your pro’s experience and payment schedule. If the contractor seems annoyed with your questions, keep looking.

Never pay for a project upfront. If a pro requires a deposit, get a receipt. While there isn’t an industry standard regarding payments, many pros structure their contracts in a manner that requires payment once certain milestones are hit. Carefully review your contract to ensure your timeline, payment terms and project milestones align with your expectations.

Step Four: Surviving Construction

Discuss your game plan with your contractor before you get started. Schedule weekly project update meetings and daily check-ins to ensure you’re aware of how the project is going.

Also, figure out how you’re going to handle your meals during construction. If your project is significant enough to require a few weeks worth of work, set up a temporary kitchen. If you have the vacation time, leaving town for a while is a good idea.

Step Five: Finishing Up

While your new kitchen might look finished, it’s not. At least not until you and your contractor do a thorough walk through to ensure every last detail is to your liking. Don’t worry about being nitpicky, your contractor will understand and will work with you to make sure the project is completed properly (and up to code).

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